How do archaeologists investigate and understand ancient sites and civilisations? Interpreting archaeological evidence accurately and methodically is the key to obtaining a critical perspective on the development of the human race. This album provides an introduction to archaeology and its methodologies for excavation of sites that can be more than 12000 years old. Like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle but without a picture guide, archaeologists can establish how cities and civilisations developed, why humans started farming, and how empires formed and collapsed. This material forms part of The Open University course A251 World archaeology.
1:00A short introduction to this album.
The importance of archaeology
6:54The discipline of archaeology and its methodology.
Pompeii: reconstructing the urban past
6:16The challenges of studying the cultural development of urban settlements, including Pompeii.
The origins of agriculture
7:29Why did humans start farming?
Interpreting the remains of early cities
8:10Archaeologists discuss early Meso-american and South Asian cities and how they reveal different forms of social organisation.
The challenge of defining a city
10:55What evidence do we need to define archaeological remains as a city?
6:57Archaeologists discuss the formation of empires and how to interpret archaeological evidence left by them.
10:24Exploring the development and function of empires, looking at Mayan, Aztec, Roman, and Chinese societies.
Studying human development
7:09Exploring how humans have developed by looking at the remains they have left.